The first electronics project of 2015, plus…

It’s probably time I actually got on with an electronics project.
Upon visiting Lancaster’s HUGE antiques emporium (no, I’m not middle-aged Kib) with SWMBO and Mother, the former chanced upon something rather interesting.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you a 1940’s voltmeter:

What a beauty!
What a beauty!

Note the date of its last calibration is the 7th of March 1941, this voltmeter saw service in the war!
The box is hand-made and has dovetail joints at the corners.

It’s freakin gorgeous.



I don’t need a voltmeter that can measure 600V ac oddly enough, but what I do need is more CRAP.


The hack

It’s an easy one, mostly a cosmetic one really*. Well I’m easing myself in, let me off a little.

I’m gutting it (HERESY!) and making it into a portable media centre.
Option 1: Digital radio, port for MP3 player, plus either a battery compartment or plug for power
Option 2 (HARDMODE): as above plus; RasPi+bluetooth+wireless+HDMIo/p for full media centre goodness. Oh, and LEDs.

The bits that will stay

  • More or less just the shell (“What about those lovely valves?” They’re going, sorry. If you want ’em, drop me a line)
  • The connection terminals on top if I can, else that’s where stuff will be sprouting from.
  • The ventilation grills, where the integrated speaker(s) will sit.
  • The gorgeous calibration cert in the flap

The bits that will go

  • The rest of it (duh)
  • That gorgeous measuring needle, though if I can I’ll keep the window-to keep as much of the cosmetics the same as possible.

So yes, I’m essentially making a steampunk-esque media centre because reasons.


And in other news

SWMBO’s sister got married last weekend (24th Jan)
Not much to report, they both turned up and said yes.
Things did not go entirely to plan, but what wedding ever did?

Quatro is going the way of the dodo. So one could call this my redundancy project.

Just as soon as I thought I was beginning to wean myself of the plastic crack, GeeDubbs decides it’s doing Harlequins as an army…finally. There’s also a rumour that the Deathwatch will be getting the same treatment. Just as well I’m not being made redundant or anything Oh.


I think that covers about everything that’s happened really





*Ok so reading the article back to myself this is not entirely true. But feck it, it’s mostly a “squeeze-everything-in-to-this-space-mod” and that’s not really something I’d call electronics per se.


As if to prove I’m incapable of original thought, here’s where I probably had the idea from…

A Retro, Not Steampunk, Media Center

Oh well, YOINK!



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